Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56


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Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Unfinished Utopia is a social and cultural history of Nowa Huta, dubbed Poland's "first socialist city" by Communist propaganda of the s.

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Work began on the new town, located on the banks of the Vistula River just a few miles from the historic city of Krakow, in By contrast to its older neighbor, Nowa Huta was intended to model a new kind of socialist modernity and to be peopled with "new men," themselves both the builders and the beneficiaries of this project of socialist construction. Nowa Huta was the largest and politically most significant of the socialist cities built in East Central Europe after World War II; home to the massive Lenin Steelworks, it epitomized the Stalinist program of forced industrialization that opened the cities to rural migrants and sought fundamentally to transform the structures of Polish society.

Focusing on Nowa Huta's construction and steel workers, youth brigade volunteers, housewives, activists, and architects, Katherine Lebow explores their various encounters with the ideology and practice of Stalinist mobilization by seeking out their voices in memoirs, oral history interviews, and archival records, juxtaposing these against both the official and unofficial transcripts of Stalinism. Far from the gray and regimented landscape we imagine Stalinism to have been, the fledgling city was a colorful and anarchic place where the formerly disenfranchised peasants, youth, women hastened to assert their leading role in "building socialism"-but rarely in ways that authorities had anticipated.

Yet, as Katherine Lebow's rich yet concise study demonstrates, underneath the regimented spaces and ubiquitous concrete lie more complex and nuanced stories It also provides important general insights into the intricate processes by which modernist urban spaces. Despite their aspiration to control, become powerful sites of negotiation and resistance.

Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949-56

Unlike practitioners of traditional sovietology-now morphing into victimology, for popular consumption-she seeks out the complexities and ambiguities of Stalinism in eastern Europe This book will appeal to a wide readership across many disciplines. The range is extensive: urban geography, political mobilization, social structure, gender, youth culture, and film studies. It crosses boundaries within Poland and beyond. This includes the nature of Polish Stalinism, which Lebow sees as much more than mere ideology, but rather as a set of practices that individuals creatively appropriated.

This book will appeal to a very wide audience.

It will of course interest historians of the Polish postwar first and foremost, but beyond that it will appeal to Eastern Europeanists and, notably, to historians of the Western European postwar as well. Reference no. Publication Ithaca, United States.


  • Table of Contents.
  • Account Options.
  • Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, And Polish Society 1949?56.
  • You Are Not a Mistake;
  • The Theorist’s Mother.

Main content page count Word Count Dimensions 6. Weight 21 oz. Onix Version 2. Format Paperback. Product Detail Trade paperback US.

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Weight 12 oz. Also of interest. Interdisciplinary Studies : Slavic and Eurasian Studies.

Social Science : Urban Studies. Advanced search.

Unfinished Utopia - Lebow, Katherine - | HPB

Shopping Cart. First, as Lebow shows throughout Unfinished Utopia , Nowohucians not only reworked and laid claim to Stalinist ideology but also developed a sense of ownership over Nowa Huta itself. This sense of owning the city and being its masters echoed Stalinist ideology on socialism belonging to workers and on socialist property relations.

This sense of owning the city, I would propose, was a critical element of Second World urbanity as an everyday, lived experience throughout the socialist world that could use further elaboration in our study of socialist cities. Also, did Nowa Huta itself become a model for socialist urban developing in other socialist countries?

Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56
Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56
Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56
Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56
Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56
Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56 Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56

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